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EG3170 Modelling and simulation of engineering systems

Simple translational problems

1. Consider the system depicted below in which the displacement of the mass, x(t) is taken to be the dis-
placement corresponding to unstretched/uncompressed spring conditions. Draw a Free Body Diagram of
the system and show that the equation of motion can be expressed as

M ẍ + B ẋ + Kx = Fa (t)

PSfrag replacements x

Fa (t)
M
B K

Simple mass-spring-damper system

2. Consider the system depicted below in which, again, the displacements of the masses M 1 and M2 are
measured with respect to unstretch/uncompressed springs.
PSfrag replacements
K2

x1 (t) x2 (t)
B1

Fa (t) M1 M2

K1
Simple mass-spring-damper-pulley system

Stating appropriate assumptions on x1 (t), x2 (t) and Fa (t), draw Free Body Diagrams of the system and
prove that the equations of motion can be written as

M1 ẍ1 + B1 ẋ1 + K1 x1 = Fa (t) + B1 ẋ2 + K1 x2

M2 ẍ2 + B1 ẋ2 + (K1 + K2 )x2 = B1 ẋ1 + K1 x1

3. Consider the system depicted below in which at rest (Fa (t) ≡ 0) the displacements x = 0 and z = 0
correspond to unstretch spring positions. The displacement x(t) is measured with respect to the fixed
reference frame of the ground, whereas the displacement z(t) is taken with respect to the movement of the
mass M1 .
Draw Free Body Diagrams of the system and show that the equations of motion are given by:
z(t)
PSfrag replacements K2

Fa (t) M2



B


B1  B2

M1

K1

x1 (t)
Mass-spring-damper system with relative motion

4. Consider the system depicted below.

B
PSfrag replacements

M Fa (t)

d0 + ∆x(t)
Simple mass-spring-damper system

When the system is at rest and Fa (t) = 0, the mass is a constant distance, d0 , from the wall. When Fa (t) is
applied, the mass moves a distance ∆x(t) further to the right. Draw a Free Body Diagram for the system
and prove that the equations of motion can be written as:

M ∆ẍ + B∆ẋ + K∆x = Fa (t)

5. Consider the system depicted below where F1 (t) is a constant force and Fa (t) is a time-varying applied
PSfrag replacements
force.
B
Fa (t)
M
F1
K

Simple mass-spring-damper system

• Find an expression for the constant (static) extension fo the spring due to F 1 (t).
• Show that the differential equation describing the system motion has the form

¨ + B x̃˙ + K x̃ = Fa (t)
M x̃

and state what x̃ represents.

Solutions
PSfrag replacements

1. Damper extended, spring compressed. Hence Free Body Diagram looks like:

B ẋ Fa (t)
M
M ẍ Kx

P
Applying D’Alembert’s Law: i fi =0

M ẍ + B ẋ + Kx − Fa (t) = 0
⇒ M ẍ + B ẋ + Kx = Fa (t)

2. Asssume that

• F( t) is sufficiently large such that all pulley cables remain in tension at all times
• x1 (t)PSfrag replacements
> x2 (t), which implies ∆x(t) = x1 (t) − x2 (t) > 0

Free Body Diagrams are

M1 ẍ B1 (ẋ1 − ẋ2 )
M1
Fa (t)
K1 (x1 − x2 )

B1 (ẋ1 − ẋ2 ) M2 ẍ
M2
K1 (x1 − x2 ) K2 z

P
Hence Applying D’Alembert’s Law ( i fi = 0) to both masses gives:

M1 : M1 ẍ1 + B1 (ẋ1 − ẋ2 ) + K1 (x1 − x2 ) − Fa (t) = 0

⇒ M1 ẍ1 + B1 ẋ1 + K1 xs = Fa (t) + B1 ẋ2 + K1 x2
M2 : M2 ẍ2 + K2 x2 − B1 (ẋ1 − ẋ2 ) − K1 (x1 − x2 ) = 0
PSfrag replacements
⇒ M2 ẍ2 + B2 ẋ2 + (K1 + K2 )x2 = B1 ẋ1 + K1 x1

3. Damper B1 and Spring K1 extended; Damper B “extended”; Damper B2 and Spring K2 compressed.
Free Body Diagrams are:

B1 ẋ Bz
M1
K1 x M1 ẍ

Bz K2 (x + z)
M2 (ẍ + z̈) M2
Fa (t) B2 (ẋ + ż)
P
Hence Applying D’Alembert’s Law ( i fi = 0) to both masses gives:

M1 : M1 ẍ + B1 ẋ + K1 x − B ż = 0
⇒ M1 ẍ + B1 ẋ + K1 x = B ż
M2 : M2 (ẍ2 + z̈) + B2 (ẋ + ż) + K2 (x + z) + B ż = Fa (t)

4. When system is at rest and Fa (t) = 0, system is at distance d0 m from the wall. Hence restraining forces
are purely due to extra displacement ∆x (and subsequent derivatives) which F a (t) causes. Hence

FK = K∆x
FB = B∆ẋ
FI = M ∆ẍ

A simple Free Body Diagram and application of D’Alembert’s Law then yields the differential equations
as given in the question.

5. First assume Fa (t) ≡ 0 and system is at rest. As F1 is a constant force to the rigth, mass will move a
(constant) distance x0 to right, assuming this measurement is taken from the unstretched/uncompressed
PSfragatreplacements
spring length. Hence static equilibrium we have the Free Body Diagram:

Kx0 M F1

Note that as ẋ0 = 0 and ẍ0 = 0, both the inertial and damper forces are zero. Therefore
PSfrag replacements
F1 = Kx0 ⇔ x0 = F1 /K

Now assume Fa (t) 6= 0. Now, with x(t) assumed to be the displacement of the mass to the right (a
measurement corresponding to unstretched/uncompressed springs) the Free Body Diagram becomes:

Kx
Fa (t)
B ẋ M
M ẍ F1

P
Applying D’Alembert’s Law ( i fi = 0) gives

M ẍ + B ẋ + Kx = Fa (t) + F1

Now let x = x̃ + x0 , then as x0 is a constant, it follows that ẋ = x̃˙ and ẍ = x̃.

¨ Substituting for x we thus
have
¨ + B x̃˙ + K(x̃ + x0 ) = Fa (t) + F1
M x̃

But as F1 = Kx0 , this simplifies to

¨ + B x̃˙ + K x̃ = Fa (t)
M x̃

as suspected. Note that x̃ represents the distance from static equilibrium not that distance from the point
corresponding to no spring extension/compression (which is represented by x).